I have a shopping problem: I do too much of it. I purchase new hardware for work in order to stay on top of freelance assignments. I buy shit I don’t need when I’m depressed. I pick up new books to read even when I have plenty to read. None of it makes me any happier. In fact, I’m certain that the bad consumer habits I have are keeping me from being happy.
So, I quit. I’m going to make do with what I have for the next year, starting today.
I refuse to buy anything new, other than essentials like socks, underwear and food. The gear I have is the gear I’ll use. If something gets broken, I have to pay to repair it. There will be no new movies bought on iTunes. I’ll listen to the 10,000+ library of songs I already own. Software will have to be freeware or something I already own. And books? I’ll trade them for used ones, but that’s all that’s allowed.
Having too much is easily the most groan-worthy of first world problems. But it’s a problem that I plan on confronting. As my boss and friend Brian Lam is fond of pointing out, the cash we spend on crap we don’t need could be spent on paying down our bills, travelling or having a wonderful experience with people we care about. I plan on doing much of this in the future.
I’d like to share the experience of cutting back with you, if you’re interested. If not, well, the Internet’s a big place, so feel free to read something else. I’m such a lot of my thoughts on the subject will be banal, but maybe I’ll glean something interesting from the experience that might be helpful to you. I hope so.
Let’s see how this turns out.